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Archive for the ‘Running Accessories’ Category

How to Choose the Right Running Sock

April 15th, 2013

Ah, the mighty sock. Some underestimate the power of a good sock, but the right sock can really make the difference between a good run and a great run. Here’s what to look for when shopping for running socks.

Fabric

First off, just say no to cotton. Cotton will absorb moisture instead of wicking it away from your skin, which can cause blisters when you’re running. Instead, reach for a pair made out of a synthetic fabric, like nylon or polyester, or try some merino wool socks.

The choice between synthetic fabric and wool is a matter of personal preference, so try out both types to see which you prefer. Don’t be afraid to try a pair of wool socks. The merino wool used by brands like SmartWool and Feetures! is nothing like the itchy sweater your mom used to make you wear on cold days. This wool is soft and sleek against the skin, and merino wool even has antimicrobial properties that help keep the foot funk at bay.

Height

Everybody seems to have a favorite sock style. Some people swear by their crew socks, while others won’t leave the house for a run in anything but no-shows. Finding the perfect cut for you has to do with how much coverage you want from your sock. Running socks are typically available in four lengths: low/no-show, quartercrew and knee high. Many no-show socks have ankle tabs to help prevent blisters on the backs of your heels when you’re running. Taller socks are often a better choice for running in colder conditions. Try out a few styles to find the sock length that works best for you.

Cushioning

Socks also come in a range of cushioning thicknesses, from super thin socks that serve as a liner to thicker, heavily cushioned socks that give you plenty of underfoot padding. If you want a supremely thin sock, try the Feetures Elite Ultra Light No Show Socks or the Swiftwick Pulse Zero Socks. If you’d like to try a more cushioned sock, a few nice options are the Drymax Max Protection Socks, Thorlo Experia Socks and Balega Hidden Comfort Socks.

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Salomon Spring 2013 Hydration Options

April 12th, 2013

When we think of groundbreaking running hydration products, it’s hard not to think of Salomon. Over the last several seasons, they’ve developed a name for themselves as one of the primary trailblazers of running hydration gear, and this spring isn’t any different. We’re pretty picky when it comes to our run gear around the RW offices, and the spring ’13 hydration lineup from Salomon gets a big thumbs up.

Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 12 & 5 Set Packs

The Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 12 Set Pack and 5 Set Pack are the crème de la crème of Salomon’s hydration pack line. With three size options in each pack for an almost-custom fit, you’re sure to find all-day comfort. The packs come equipped with zippered pockets and pouches to store essentials on a long run, and you can even stow a soft flask or two in the front pockets. Adjustable chest straps provide a snug fit that won’t chafe.

Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves

Spiderman might be able to shoot webs from his wrists, but with the Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves you’ll be able to shoot refreshing hydration out of your hand. Well, sort of. These gloves allow you to securely carry a soft flask of liquid while keeping your hand relaxed. Use it to stay hydrated, or squirt it over your head to help yourself cool down.

Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 2 Belt

If MacGyver wore a fanny pack, he’s snap on the Advanced Skin S-Lab 2 Belt. Seriously. This little number has four open stretch mesh pockets (two in the front and two in the back) to store Soft Flasks or other nutrition. Two zipper pockets provide secure storage for accessories, and one small side loop gives you a place to clip small accessories. The belt is adjustable and the mesh lining makes it incredibly comfortable on the run.

Salomon Soft Flasks

You want to carry liquid, but the incessant sloshing of bottles and typical flasks drives you crazy. Enter the Salomon Soft Flasks. A soft bite valve is easy on your teeth, and durable Thermoplastic Polyurethane construction makes these flasks trail-ready. Choose from 16 ounce, 8 ounce or 5 ounce sizes, and fill with liquid or gel for your hydration and fuel needs.

Salomon Skin Pro 3 Set Pack

When you want a sleek and simple hydration pack that will let you go fast, grab the Salomon Skin Pro 3 Set Pack. With a 1.5 liter bladder, you’ll have plenty of hydration, and the pack also gives you room to stash a thin jacket and a pair of arm warmers. Use the stretch mesh side pockets to stow nutrition on the run. Twin sternum straps provide a secure fit.

Salomon Hydro 45 Belt

The Salomon Hydro 45 Belt gives you space to carry hydration and nutrition without feeling weighed down. The unique triangular 20-ounce bottle is easy to grab for hydration on the go, and a small zippered pocket provides room to stow nutrition or other important items. The adjustable belt allows for a secure and comfortable fit.

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New CEP Running Recovery Products

March 25th, 2013

CEP, the premium compression technology company we all know and love, has just expanded its lineup to include recovery-specific compression pieces. Here’s the lowdown:

Recovery+ Socks

CEP Recovery+ Pro Sock

If you’ve been longing – dare we say, yearning – for a recovery-focused sock from CEP, then rejoice! The CEP Recovery+ Pro Socks (view Women’s) use graduated compression to increase blood flow to muscles post-workout, helping you recover more quickly. They’re different than the Progressive+ Socks due to having consistent gradation over the calf muscle, since their is no increased demand on this muscle post-run.

To experience the greatest recovery benefits from these socks, put them on within one to two hours after exercising, and leave them on for at least six hours. It’s okay to take a break post-workout to shower up and refuel, since Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) typically takes several hours to develop. The sock is constructed of a breathable knit for a comfortable all-day wearing experience.

The Recovery+ Pro Knee High Open Toe (view Women’s) gives you the benefit of the recovery-specific design while letting your tootsies hang out. They’re a great choice if you want to wear a compression sock and sandal at the same time, of if you just like letting your feet breathe easier.

RxOrtho+ Braces

We also brought in a few new braces designed to stabilize and protect common injury areas for runners. We stock the RxOrtho+ Knee Brace (shown below) for stabilization and support of the knee joint, the RxOrtho+ Ankle Brace (shown below) for the support and treatment of mild ankle injuries, and the RxOrtho Achilles Brace (not pictured) to support and treat injury and discomfort in the Achilles tendon.

CEP Recovery+ Pro Knee High Open Toe, RxOrtho+ Knee Brace and RxOrtho Ankle Brace

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New CEP Compression Socks and Calf Sleeves

March 22nd, 2013

CEP Progressive+ Run Sock 2.0, Night Run Sock and Night Calf Sleeves

CEP has just introduced several new products designed for compression during exercise.

Progressive+ Run Sock 2.0

Reach for the CEP Progressive+ Run Sock 2.0 (view Women’s) when you feel like your muscles need a little extra support on a run. This sock has graduated compression from the ankle to the knee, but the compression gradient remains consistent over the entire calf muscle. It’s even lighter than its predecessor. A thicker knit over the Achilles provides increased cushioning, and the terry structure of the knit helps to stimulate blood flow. The seamline across the toes is very flat to eliminate hot spots, and the hydrophile finish on these socks wicks moisture to prevent chafing and blisters. We have the sock in Black and White, along with the Progressive+ Night Run Socks (view Women’s) shown above in Neon Green.

Progressive+ Calf Sleeves

We already carry the CEP Progressive+ Calf Sleeves, but we also brought in the Progressive+ Night Calf Sleeves (view Women’s) for an added bit of safety. In addition to the brilliant neon color, a reflective thread is woven in for increased visibility. Read more…

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Garmin $50 Rebate Is Back!

March 15th, 2013

If you’re a student athlete or school coach, 2013 is your year to get GPS-connected for improved training performance. Garmin’s going to help you do it with a $50 rebate offer on top-selling models. Until October 31, 2013, this leading GPS running watch maker is offering student athletes and school coaches a $50 mail-in rebate for the Forerunner 210 and Forerunner 610.

How do you get the rebate? All you have to do is purchase an eligible model from us and send in the Garmin Mail-In Rebate Form along with the product UPC barcode and copies of your receipt and student/school ID. It’s that simple to get a little extra cash in your pocket.

Rebate Model Rundown

Forerunner 210: The 210 is one of Garmin’s most affordable, easy-to-use GPS watches. It’s available on its own, with a heart rate monitor, or with a heart rate monitor and foot pod bundle. Big features include:

  • GPS with HotFix to sync up with the satellite quickly
  • Live pace and distance data with totals when your finish your run
  • Custom Interval Training for speed work
  • 1,000-Lap memory
  • Ability to compare and analyze data with Garmin Connect and Garmin Training Center

Forerunner 610: In addition to all the features of the 210, the Forerunner 610 adds these key features:

  • Touchscreen interface that works when wet or when wearing gloves
  • Vibration alerts for time, distance, and run/walk breaks
  • Virtual Racer to compete against previous course PR’s
  • Virtual Partner feature to train alongside a digital person
  • Auto Pause stops/starts timer for you based on speed
  • Wireless data transfer to your computer with included ANT+ Stick

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Luck o’ the Garmin Giveaway

March 11th, 2013

Garmin is known as a top name in fitness technology – and now you can wear some of that technology on your wrist for free! The Garmin Forerunner 10 is simple-to-use GPS run watch with all the core features runners need to train and race.

This contest is closed.  Congratulations to Cheryl C. in Florida and Francis F. in Georgia, winners of our Luck o’ the Garmin Giveaway! Thank you to everyone who entered!

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Heart Rate Monitors Plain and Simple

February 27th, 2013

You don’t have to be a gearhead to jump – or run – into the world of heart rate monitors. Today’s market offers a great selection of sleek and simple monitors that are easy to operate.

Why Buy a Heart Rate Monitor?

Incorporating heart rate training gives you more control over your workouts and can be a clutch training tool when it comes to making fitness gains and breaking through plateaus. A heart rate monitor can help you make sure you’re hitting your target heart rate during a workout, or staying in a lower heart rate zone on an active recovery day. You can also use a heart rate monitor to work intervals of higher and lower intensity exertion.

Whether your running goals are fitness or race-performance related, a heart rate monitor can enhance your training. These nifty little gadgets are a much more precise way to keep track of your efforts than ‘perceived exertion,’ giving you the power to manipulate your workouts to achieve your goals.

Our Popular Models

If simple is your style, here are a few of our favorite basic heart rate monitors:

Timex Easy Trainer

The Timex Easy Trainer offers a no-frills approach to heart rate training. All you need to do is secure the included heart rate monitor strap around your chest and press the red ‘On/Off’ button, and you’re on your way. The large, easy-to-read display helps you keep track of your heart rate on your run, even in the dark thanks to the INDIGLO® night light. After your run, the Workout Review feature recalls activity time along with average and peak heart rates.

Polar FT4

The Polar FT4 provides heart rate information, as well as an estimate of calories burned during a workout. This heart rate monitor also has a coded heart rate transmission, so it will correctly pick up your own heart rate even if your training partner is wearing a heart rate monitor as well. You can even set heart-rate-based target zones with visual and audible alarms, and choose from eight languages to display. Read more…

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Running Resolutions in Limbo?

February 6th, 2013

Stumbling more than you're running? Brooks' blog has suggestions to get back on track.

If you’re having trouble sticking with your running resolutions, check out this blog from Brooks on How to Reboot Your Running Resolutions. They offer up some fixes and suggestions for common training hurdles like sickness, exhaustion, and not being able to find enough time to get in all your mileage.

We’ve found a couple types of products are particularly helpful for people who are working on a training or race goal in 2013. The most obvious one is a GPS watch or heart rate monitor. After all, you can’t improve if you don’t measure how you’re doing. We’re also big proponents of massage and running injury prevention products, especially for more entry level runners who are working hard toward a goal.

For those of you who made running resolutions, how are they going? What other stumbling blocks have gotten in your way? Let us know and we’ll try to offer some creative solutions.

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GPS Watches for the Masses: 2013 Running Trend

January 29th, 2013

A decade ago, GPS sounded like something only the FBI or CIA would have access to. Now even your mom has it. And just maybe, she’s a runner who uses GPS to manage and track her workouts. With brands like Garmin and Soleus offering GPS running watches that won’t break the bank, it’s easier than ever for runners to step out into the brave new world of training tech.

There are plenty of GPS models that have it all. They can track your speed/distance, tell you how many calories you’ve burned, track your progress over time, do your laundry…okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. We love these fully loaded models, but they might be a little overwhelming for those making their first foray into the world of GPS.

A few key players in the GPS market are also recognizing this challenge and responding with streamlined, simple-to-use GPS models with lighter price tags than some of their beefier counterparts.

If 2013 is your year to get techie, check out the Garmin Forerunner 10 Small / Garmin Forerunner 10 Regular. Another good option is the Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 Watch. These models are easy to operate, and being able to accurately track the distance and pace of your workouts can help you improve your performance over time.

Do you use GPS to guide your training and track your progress?

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Hydration and Cold Weather Running

January 24th, 2013

Ever wonder how the dry, cold days this time of year impact your hydration levels? After all, breathing in the dry air causes us to lose more water through our lungs, and it’s really easy for many runners not to drink enough when temperatures drop.

Several of us here at RW were just talking by the watercooler the other day (as we diligently hydrated) about how it’s tough to get excited about drinking even room temp beverages this time of year. Hot water with a bit of lemon seemed to be a crowd favorite.

Hydration in cold weather doesn’t get nearly as much discussion as the importance of hydrating when the mercury rises, but Skratch Labs, makers of Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Drink Mix, has a fantastic recent blog article on how the human body compensates for cold temps. They also provide some strategies for staying warm and properly hydrated when you’re running in a winter wonderland.

Exercising in the Cold of Winter by Allen Lim

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